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How to build fan base? Put your area on the map?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Rumzini, May 26, 2005.

  1. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Recently my ol' band got back together and it really seems that people have put aside their differences and we are creating new and exciting stuff at a breakneck pace. We have enough material from old that we can play 2 hours straigth. Our ol' bar wants us to come back and be the house band so to speak...they also want to continue with the plans of an original hard rock/metal night every month possibly every week....depends on turnout obviously. We played our second and last gig and brought in more money there than he had ever. So anyways...I've been talking to so many club/bar owners/managers lately and they would like to have live bands come in but they just don't get the turnout they want.

    There also seems to be such a wealth of musicians in this area that I live...and it seems that a lot of the bands have broke up, reformed, and people have been moving around.

    Anyways...with all of this...my question.

    How does one or a group put there area on the map? I mean I';m not expecting to become the next Seatle Grunge surge...but it just seems all of the musicians here are working hard for nill.

    I ramble....
  2. It can take time to build an audience, but first and foremost is promotion.

    Posters, flyers, handouts at the local supermarket, advertise in the local music paper, at guitar shops and cd stores etc.

    Get everyone in the band to donate an hour of their time a week to help promote the show. Get the bar owner to put up posters in the bar and even start thinking of incentives for people to come - see if you can scratch a deal with a beer company so that punters get their first beer free or something.

    Dunno, just some ideas.

    Good luck.
  3. 'nother idea:
    have a covers night: if they are a lotta guys into this kinda thing, you could do have a half covers/originals night. Say 3 bands (one being yourself) do several well liked covers in the area as well as some of your own stuff and advertise it as a half/half live show.

    People will see it was a covers gig n since they will know some of the music being played they'd probably a bit more enthusdiastic.

    +1 for southpaw's post. :)
  4. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    Promotion, Promotion, Promotion!!!!

    As Southpaw1 said...you really have to spend the time puting up posters, handing out flyers, talking to everyone you can.

    I used to make a list of every show going on each week at all the clubs around and make sure that at least one band member was at each show handing out flyers and talking to people. It didn't take very long before 10x more people had heard of us than had actaully seen us play. Once you have the name recognition people will somewhat "assume" that you're good and come out becuase they "see you all over the place"....the next part is playing well enough to get them to come back a 2nd time and bring friends ;)
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Hire 20 hot looking girls to go wherever you want to get things happening. Unfortunately good music doesn't do the trick as well nor as quickly as they will.

    People want to be where it's happening, the music doesn't matter, and I've come to believe there's no secret formula. Try anything and everything, give it all ya got and cross your fingers. Putting a lot of love into every effort I've found works best also - the fearful panicking, we gotta get people to these places pushes crowds away. So do the the fearful bar owners who insist on charging a cover when their bar is empty. That is the most insane thing that I see clubs doing nowadays, and they all seem to go under. Even the semi famous Hogs & Heffers in NY went under because they started getting fearful and screwing people and bands over. I believe you get back exactly what you put into something, and as lame as it may sound when we (The Nerve!) put love out - we get it back. Anything else we've tried in our past we lost.

    Did any of that make sense? I'm tired and really need to go beddy-bye.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Joe Nerve is right. Love for what you do is the most important. The music business is a poophole filled with liars, cheats, and con artists. And those are the good people.
  7. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Pass out flyers to people that are at shows with similar music. Have a website, and make sure it's on your flyer.
  8. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses

    We put up flyers at all the local beer stores and bars as well as at the local guitar shop......that way the people that have seen us before or have heard about us know when and where we are playing. So far it's worked great, we haven't had a poor turnout at a gig yet.
  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You wanna put your area on the map?


    If you look at scenes that were popular at one time, the musicians jammed with each other and supported each-other's endeavors in order to build up a scene. When the scene does well, everyone benefits.

    So how do you do this?
    - Invite other bands to your shows, and let people sit in with your band. They'll bring friends and fans, and increase your fan base while increasing their exposure.

    - Put together a compilation CD of bands in your area, and distribute them at gigs.

    - Share playbills, share gigs. Have a band open for you, and then return the favor later.

    - Come up with an event that showcases local musicians.

    - Talk up other bands. Share promotional costs. In short, promote your scene as well as your band.

    - Work together to get discounts from local vendors. If all the bands in the area get together, they can probably leverage deals from music stores/printers/agents,etc.

    Basically help each other out. Sorta like what we do here on TB.

    One band usually doesn't make a scene, but many bands do. Don't compete with each-other, but inspire each other, and then cooperate so that everyone wins.
  10. I have thought a long time about this question... here's what I've found.

    You have to gig as much as possible, and preferably have regular gigs at places. What you're trying to do is make people come back to hear your band the next week. Also collect email addresses and actively keep people up to date with your concerts.

    Finding an audience can be hard. Sometimes the only audience you have is other musicians. It's hard. You have to play music that "ordinary people" will dig, but still having enough musicality that you will able to enjoy it yourself.

    Give people a reason to go to your concerts, too. Make it a social occasion.

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